Netscapes: Building

Today we focused on finishing developing the physical side of our project.

ledhead

The LED ring powered glass head. Colours are being chosen by a mobile phone (off screen).

The second Neopixel ring arrived, so we soldered in some headers and built a circuit board for it. We installed the necessary drivers into the Arduino IDE and programmed it to output different colours.

We then merged this code with the Bluetooth code Chris made earlier.

We mounted the Arduino, breadboard and Bluetooth module to the interior on the plinth. We drilled holes into the head base to accommodate the wiring for the RGB LED ring.

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The Arduino & Circuitry mounted inside the plinth.

This LED ring is brighter than the other, even inside the diffuser, so is even better for our finalised build!

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The LED ring mounted in the plinth.

Our next steps are to:

  • I will develop an app to send characters across a Bluetooth connection, enabling us to remotely change the colour of the head without the need for the Bluetooth Terminal.
  • I need to build server connections for our visualization, input sliders and MySQL Database.
  • Gintar√© and Chris need to complete the visualization for the IVT theatre.

 

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Everyware: Icebreaker development – LEDs & MQTT

In this post I will briefly outline my part in the creation of our wearable technology: The Icebreaker T-Shirt.

Prototyping: Single RGB LED

I started off by prototyping MQTT connections with a single RGB LED. I built a basic circuit and programmed it so that it would connect to the MQTT broker, and light up when data is received.

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NodeMCU & RGB LED

RGBW LED Strips

After this, we experimented with using RGBW LED strips. I wired up a circuit (using transistors to prevent burning out my controller board) and experimented with some code to create patterns.

After experimentation, it was apparent these strips were not composed of individually addressable LEDs, so turned out to not be appropriate for our usage.

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Wiring up the RGBW LED strip.

24 RGB LED Ring

Next we moved onto using a 24 LED ring. First, I soldered some pins into the ring for easy wiring. Later these could be removed and either directly soldered onto, or even potentially be connected to using conductive thread.

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24 LED ring with sample code.

I worked out how to individually address each LED and then used the code from the first single RGB LED to connect it to the MQTT broker.

After this, I setup basic reactions to each input to simulate what will happen once the database is properly connected; Left side lights up when a match is detected to the left .etc

Basic lighting effects/reactions include:

  • Ambient (No match/resting)
  • Match (Different colours for different matches) – Currently 3 max
  • Left – Left side lights up
  • Right – Right side lights up
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Wiring up my NodeMCU board to the LED ring. The circuit requires the use of capacitors to prevent damage to the LED ring. (Tape over LEDs is for diffusing)

The next steps are to create more visually appealing lighting effects & reactions (which I will work on over the next week) and to hook it up to the database via MQTT, which is being handled by my other team members.


 

Links

Adafruit Neopixel/Library: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-neopixel-uberguide?view=all